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Nationals’ Kurt Suzuki will catch in Game 2

Kurt Suzuki

Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki will indeed return to the lineup as the starting catcher ahead of Game 2 of the NLCS in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Suzuki has caught for Max Scherzer for the majority of the season, and he will be behind the plate with Scherzer on the hill for Game 2.

Suzuki had a scary moment during Game 5 of the NLDS. He stepped to the plate against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Walker Buehler to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Suzuki was met with a fastball high and tight, and the ball drilled him squarely in the wrist.

Fortunately, the initial impact took some of the sting off the ball, which deflected up into Suzuki’s face after hitting the wrist.  Postgame X-rays on the wrist were negative, but the Nationals held Suzuki out of Game 1 as a precaution.

The veteran backstop will hope that the NLCS is far kinder to him than the NLDS. Suzuki went hitless in nine at-bats against the Dodgers, though he did draw three free passes.

The Nationals need the bottom of the order to get going to supplement the hot hitting of Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto. In Game 1 against the Cardinals, Yan Gomes–filling in for Suzuki–notched a pair of hits and clubbed an RBI double to jumpstart the scoring.

Suzuki has traditionally been one of the most reliable offensive catchers in the game. But it is more likely his connection with Scherzer that is the reason why he gets the start for Game 2.